The U-Genes

Crash Platypus on Nov. 17, 2011

Elliot “BattleCry” Trumbull felt himself a failure.
The ThrillSeekers, his superhero team just didn't work.
He, and his cousin, Jenny Tanner,
aka ‘UberWoman’ put together a team to police the areas around his
home: Liberty City, Michigan. They were betrayed by 2 of their own.
and DollHouse had sold them out to the mysterious metahuman power
broker calling himself Siphon, and his operatives, The Dust Devils.
Siphon, of course, double-crossed his spies, and Presto was devoured alive by the shape-shifter known as Xeno.
had a change of heart at the last moment and tried her best to warn her
team, to save them from being the guinea pigs for Siphon's metagene
experiments to boost his own powers. It was too little, too late.
was ambushed by Swindle, D-Train and Wraith, beaten almost to death,
and then thrown into Siphon's Machine. He gained her power to grow and
shrink at will. She lost her life.
The Thrillseekers took down
Siphon's machine, battled the Dust Devils and captured most of them.
Each side lost at least one life, as The ThrillSeeker, Cobalt, died in
the battle, as did Swindle of The Dust Devils. Siphon escaped, but he
would return.
The ThrillSeekers buried their dead, and decide to disband.
Elliot was lost. He had never really trained for, or succeeded at anything else in his life.
a superhero was the only thing he was ever halfway good at, and to be
honest, he wasn't even really so very good at THAT. His main motivation
was to try and impress or keep up with his cousin, Jenny… or, rather,
to be like her former teammate, Orbit, whom she would always talk about.
was living in the shadow of a dead hero, and now, his team was gone.
His own cousin ran off to Texas, abandoning him. His teammate, Gazelle, had become THE hero of their area, and the remaining members seemed to settle into normal, separate lives.
tried the ‘solo hero’ thing, and it went as expected for a while, until
the day he ran afoul of a supervillain who called himself “Anomaly”.
villain was a brilliant, but utterly MAD scientist from a parallel
reality who, BattleCry later found out, would routinely sneak into our
world, using a device of his own creation, and a very durable battle
armor, to kidnap metahumans and harvest their blood to create a
substance known in his home reality as “Ultranium”. This crystalline
substance along with various other elements could be used to genetically
alter humans into superbeings. Anomaly and his financial backers got
rich by providing artificially grown superbeings to the highest bidders
for obscene amounts of money.
BattleCry caught Anomaly in the act of abducting his former teammate Sarah Zane Willis, aka “WillPower”.
Though Anomaly was able to wound the young telekine and harvest a great
deal of her blood, she and BattleCry managed to fight him off. They
were near the hospital at the time, and she was able to levitate herself
inside to get help. BattleCry rumbled with Anomaly, barely surviving
the weaponry of his battle armor. The scientist activated his
dimensional jump technology, and returned to his home reality
(#01384-Z), with BattleCry still hanging on.
In Anomaly's home Earth,
the dogged superhero resumed the battle, and, concentrating as many of
his orally based superpowers as he could, destroyed Anomaly's armor and
portal device. This rendered the villain unable to move, as the armor
was also a life support device, and all it's remaining power was
diverted to keeping Anomaly alive, but was insufficient to operate the
physical function servos of the heavy armor.
Now trapped on this odd
parallel Earth, where metahumans are not celebrities, and are fewer and
farther between than he is used to, Elliot Trumbull is all alone.
Finding himself to be in this version of his home city/state of Liberty
City, Michigan, he played a hunch to see if a counterpart of himself
existed. Fortunately, he did. BattleCry sought out the other Elliot
Trumbull, and told him everything. This world's Elliot was not the same
slacker our Elliot was. This world's Elliot was a brilliant inventor and
research scientist for one of the larger industrial conglomerates in
North America: Ultra Enterterprises Unlimited. The two Elliots went back
to the scene of BattleCry's fight. Elliot 2 called in a squad of agents
and employees of UE and collected the villain, his suit and the stolen
blood of WillPower. Elliot 2 assured his “visiting twin” that everything
would be OK.
After 4 weeks of crashing in one of his doppelganger's
spare rooms and finding a job washing dishes in a local restaurant,
Elliot was told that Anomaly's dimensional travel tech was utterly
destroyed. The villain, now in federal custody, had refused to divulge
the methods of it's creation, and no one at Elliot 2's company was able
to reverse engineer it. BattleCry was stuck in this parallel reality.
He'd blown off steam by patrolling the city at night, after work. Sadly,
busting car thieves and purse snatchers didn't make him feel any
better… until one night, Elliot 2 came home and told him to quit his
crappy job, as, there was a new job waiting for him at UE.
Elliot 1
didn't understand. Unlike his twin, he was no genius scientist. He'd
barely made it through High School. Still, anything was better than
busting suds, so, he went to UE and had an audience with it's CEO and
Primary Shareholder, one Winnifred Marx.
Elliot was floored. On his
home Earth, Winnifred “Freddi” Marx was a weather girl turned pin-up
girl and “scream queen”. She made a living out of getting topless in B
grade horror films for almost 13 years before getting a quirky role in
an indie film that wound up winning her an Oscar. She, sadly, died in a
car crash 2 weeks later. Here, in this world, as he found out, she
lived, and, apparently went on to bigger and greater things.
Now, she
was telling him that she had need of his services as a superhero. She
told him of the politics of Black Market Metahuman Farms and how the
Official Governing Body was all but impotent when it came to stopping
this horrible practice. She explained Ultranium and how it was obtained
and used. She explained about a few of her under-the-table connections
within the government and the red tape involved with getting people like
Anomaly shut down.
BattleCry still wasn't sure what his role in all this was supposed to be, but, then, his Other Self put it in simple terms:
needed him to be trainer and field leader to a team of metahuman
operatives whose overall job would be to put an end to what was a
potentially very deadly new arms race.
Metahuman powers didn't
spark naturally in this world as it did in his own. Metahuman powers
weren't exactly illegal, as, most governments didn't want to issue
statements publicly that there were metas on their payroll. Superheroes
were mostly considered pop culture escapist entertainment, and what few
actual metas there were in the world who fancied themselves heroes were
usually what were referred to as “Delta Level” - i.e. very LOW powered.
Barely above being normal people with strong athletic ability, some
genetic parlor trick and a gaudy, home-made costume.
The true
threats were very powerful “Beta Level” metas, created in labs. Most
were just private security for the very rich, or, even more odd,
“pleasure dolls”. But, some were living weapons, sold to very unsavory
types for the purposes of terrorism or domination on a grand scale.
UE and Ms. Marx had dedicated themselves to putting an end to that,
with or without help from the Global Authorities, by fighting fire with
fire. Freddi Marx had grown herself 6 Beta Level metas from genetic
material and Ultranium obtained “by means no one needs to know about…
for their own safety.”
The last bit was taken from Anomaly himself, by Elliot 2, after BattleCry defeated him.
She introduced her operatives to him.
They all appeared to be in their mid to late 20s, physically.
had given them all names, and said that they'd each had memories and
personality traits downloaded into their brains both technologically and
psychically by UE's “Department 52”.
Sharona Davenport, aka
“Phenom” is a powerhouse with the ability to fly, superstrength, and an
incredible healing Factor. She is focused and cerberal when there are
business matters at hand, but will use her incredible stamina to party
like mad when things aren't at their most serious.
Keith Lang,
aka “Centigrade” is a pyrokine/cryokine of great power. As bipolar as
his power is, so, too, seems to be his personality. He is very shy and
quiet, particularly around women, but, when he is angry or upset, he
becomes a very vocal, very passionate warrior.
Evelyn Aaron, aka
“AllHallow's Eve” is a metamorphic shapeshifter, and gauged to be,
potentially, one of the more powerful Beta Level Metas on Earth. As
present, she can only alter her size and physical abilities to a certain
degree, but, it is conjectured that eventually, she may be able to
someday even mimic metabilities as well as form.
Simon Hill, aka
“Highway Man” is a teleporter. His functiion is infiltration and
extraction. He is also very adept at computer hacking. A bit of a geek
out of uniform, he is obsessed with pop culture.
lastly, the twins:
Francis Barrett, aka “Satyr”
Frances Barrett, aka “Sylph”
and Satyr were the last metaclones created by UE. They were made from
the very stolen blood of BattleCry's former teammate, WillPower that
Anomaly stole before Elliot shut him down.
Satyr has superspeed, and fancies himself a ‘ladies man’.
Sylph is a powerful telekinetic, like her genetic ‘mother’, and, also very acerbic and snarky.
are the “UltraGenetics”, or “U-Genes” for short. Often referred to as
“The Eugenes” in mass news media, thanks to a miscommunication from UE's
publicist to her contact at the Clarion newspaper.
The U-Genes
do not know that they are artificial beings, and Freddi Marx would like
to keep it that way. She has hired BattleCry as the team's field leader
and trainer for their superhero activities. Each member of the team is a
‘sleeper agent’, programmed with a more “Black Ops” modus operandi and
personality in their subconscious minds, as, some of the missions they
are sent on, covertly, may be a bit “too much” for the ‘good people’ the
U-Genes are programmed to be when appearing in public, or going about
their civilian lives.
When the team switches to these alternate
personalities, they are known as “RED OPS”. Their ‘handler’ is an agent
of UE's Department 52, called Equinox: a former Navy Seal with the
ability to generate hard light handweapons. Equinox has no contact with
any of them outside of Red Ops missions.
The team spends its days
wearing the colors of the American Flag, putting out fires, rescuing
kittens from trees, helping those who can't help themselves and taking
down the occasional free range lunatic with Black Market superpowers and
a gaudy cape and cowl.
They spend their nights travelling from place
to place, taking down terrorist cells, superpowerered mafiosos,
would-be conquerors and true supervillains in the making. Any metahuman
based threat to humanity in general, and North America in particular.
Elliot Trumbull of our world may be a stranger in a strange land,
sharing a face and a name with one of the locals, but, now, at least, he
is actually getting paid for doing the one thing he was ever even
halfway good at. Still, he worries whether or not being a leader is
something he was cut out for. Of course, he has plenty of time to figure
that out, and a whole new world to do it in.